I am Mohamed Osman, 24, from Mogadishu, Somalia: a fourth-year student pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in agriculture. My ambition is to improve my country’s agricultural sector, starting after I finish my studies.
I feel that my people and my country needs more than I can contribute. Though my country is in political turmoil and insecure, I always have in my heart and share with my friends, ‘No national security without food security!’
Together with my classmates, we have created an association that is called Somali Agriculture Students’ Association (SASA). It was created for improving the agricultural sector of our country for better production and sustainable economic growth.
To be honest, one of the supportable activities we are planning to contribute to our community can be this YAP2016, as we strongly believe that this can be very important opportunity to Somali people who are fed up with famine and drought.
We are going to carry out the Somali maize revolution with the help of YAP2016.
The goal of the Somali maize revolution is to increase productivity per unit area through improved maize seeds, distribution of fertilizers, improving cultural practices, transfer of technology, and integrated pest control strategies.
This creativity will target all maize growers, from small-scale farmers to large farmers that are intending to produce more than the current production.
The project will emphasize mainly maize growers in Afgoia district by giving facilities to farmers through the raising and selling of good-quality seedlings, project planning management, and marketing of agricultural produce in Afgoia district.
In Future, the initiative will offer weekly consultancy services in plantation against deforestation, which has a great impact on our country.
The project will improve the power of voluntary activities and self-commitment in our community, especially amongst the youth and students; increasing communities’ returns through the production of high-yield and quality seed products.
The Somali maize revolution project is intended to be the source of improved maize seeds of Somalia, centre of multiplication of maize seeds, fertilizer distribution, and pest management control centre for maize farmers throughout the country.
The project is planned to be carried out on two hectares of land with different trials that are available now for fulfilling all required maize cultural practices, such as land preparation with usage of soil amendments, such as DAP-di-ammonium phosphate (because there is a phosphorus deficiency in the area), weeding, irrigation, control of diseases and pests, harvesting, and post-harvest technology.
What inspires us for this better maize cultivation project is that within the period of our project, we will be able to reduce the low production of maize, increasing the productivity of maize for human consumption, as well livestock feed, if necessary, and combat against disease and pest management, promoting good harvest technology.
Also the project will lead to employment opportunities for rural youth, who are the workforce of agriculture in the area. And it will also assist some of internally displaced persons (IDPs), who are living in hardship, as we will distribute some of what we will produce.
Our community will profit from learning new technology of maize production, farmers will get seed which is viable and high-yielding, and also we will be able to satisfy with some IDP farmers in camps on Mogadishu’s rural outskirts, in order to re-start farming again.
Some of the steps we will undertake are listed here:
- We will train farmers in the agronomy of maize, by showing the tangible results after the first cultivation of our project.
- We will distribute the fertilizers and other organic manures and teach them how to use it.
- We will help in the best way to control the pests and disease.
- Our products will source of seed multiplication and some will be granted to the poor people.
Our vision is to see smallholder farmers being actively involved in viable income generating programmes launched by our association, and to create a food-secure environment for our community.
The USD 5,000 funding will be spent on:
- Logistics and administration planning procedure costs will estimate USD 800.
- USD 500 input for quality maize seeds, herbicides, and insecticides.
- We will hire land for the production at cost USD 500 and also land preparation, and ploughing with a tractor from the local community, USD 300.
- As irrigation water will be necessary, water pumping from river is estimated at USD 300.
- USD 200 for well fit inorganic fertilizers.
- USD 1000 will spend different labours (fixed and when required).
- USD 1000 hiring place for product storage and communication for market information.
- USD 100 will be the activity of organic manures.
- USD 300 will be cost of seminars and workshops.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Mohamed Osman (Somalia): mohamedshukri2[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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